In all of the coaching we do with our clients, then the trickiest bit for people to make changes is simply the very first step. Reasons that people state for not starting are:
- “...but what if it doesn’t work?”
- “.....but what if I don’t like it?”
- “.....I’m not sure I can.......”
If you’re not moving, then you are by definition static. And if you are not happy with your current situation , then remaining static will never in a million years result in the change you want. Unless by chance the planets re-shuffle themselves in your favour : possible, but very unlikely, and not a short term success strategy.
So if you want to change something, then:
- Remind yourself of why things will be better. If you aren’t sure, that may be why you haven’t done anything yet.
- Treat the first steps as an exciting experiment, rather than trying to implement the perfect solution first time
- Tell someone else and ask them to support you
Once you’ve started, then you can always pause and see how things are and what the next step is. You can even go back if you like!
So then, momentum is key. Someone once said “If in doubt, take a general step in the right direction”. Great advice – so no need to ever be stuck again.
So people say that the universe has a way of sending you messages. As I was unexpectedly laying on the patio looking at the sky, I wondered what the message was that I was being given..........and then I realised. I’d been meaning to jet wash the patio for a few weeks now, especially given how slippery it had become, and despite a few near misses, I’d been putting it off. So ironically, I was on the way to the shed to get the jet washer when I finally slipped and enjoyed my moment of reflection.........
So it made me think about ‘those things’ that we all have to do – that we know we should do – but keep putting off. So what’s the key to dealing with stuff that you keep putting off? I think it goes like this:
- Trust your instincts. If you’ve decided something needs doing, then back yourself and get it done. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses.
- Make sure you WANT to do it vs think you should / need / ought to. Your motivation is seriously impacted if you don’t want to do (Rule #1 of coaching). So remind yourself why this is a good thing to do and what the positive benefits are to you and others.
- Set a date. Any date. Then stick to it. An item on the ‘to do’ list without a deadline is just a wish. Give yourself a day, a week, 2 weeks, whatever, but when that time comes deal with it. Holding yourself accountable is the most powerful way to ensure you do something you have committed to.
- Be kind to yourself and reward yourself afterwards. You deserve it.
So anyway, the patio is nice and clean and slip free. I was also inspired to dash (gingerly) into the office and deal with a couple of other work related issues that I had been putting off. I’m also full of reward-cake. So happy days!